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An axe is a heavy metal instrument with a blade on one or two sides. A synonym for this instrument is a hatchet. It is used to cut or hack away at wood or other materials.
EX: Without his axe in hand, the fireman had difficulty getting through the door of the burning flat. Luckily, his fellow firefighter had one with him.
EX: It is important to take a small axe with you on any camping trip in cool weather in case you are stranded and need it to cut firewood.
The expression to lower the axe means to fire someone or remove them from your employ, as in I am going to have to lower the axe on this person.
EX: Sandy had a sinking feeling that the company would be lowering the axe on numerous employees on Monday after the poor quarterly report was released.
EX: Bob promised his wife, the bakery's manager, he would fire both of the new cake decorators on Monday morning, but he simply could not lower the axe.


A sword is a long, slightly curved, and usually sharp blade set in a hilt that is used for fighting or for decorative purposes.
EX: The traditional ceremony includes the honoured guest being presented with a sword by one of the chiefs of a local tribe.
EX: Thinking he was being challenged to a duel, the young knight grabbed his sword, but the prince reassured him this was not the case.
To fall on one’s sword means to take the blame for something or to accept defeat. The expression comes from the ancient practice of taking one’s own life on the battlefield after a loss of honor.
EX: Just as the warrior was about to fall on his sword, a sprite appeared, warning him not to do so for the sake of his country.
EX: Rather than simply fall on your sword, why don't you come and ask for help with the project after school today?
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